Kevin McNamee, director of Nokia’s Threat Intelligence Lab

A report from Finnish tech vendor Nokia has found that malicious software infections are targeting crypto-coin mining, the process by which crypto currency transactions are verified and added to blockchain technology systems. Nokia has found that malware-infected mining has been expanding from high-end servers with specialized processors to related IoT devices, as well as smartphones and web browsers.
The company’s Threat Intelligence Report 2019 also warns that IoT botnet activity represented 78% of malware detection events in communication service provider networks in 2018, more than double the rate seen in 2016, when IoT bot activity was first seen in meaningful numbers
It said that IoT bots now make up 16% of infected devices in CSP networks, up significantly from 3.5% a year ago, and said it believes malware threats against IoT devices could get worse as consumer adoption of such devices accelerate in the years ahead as 5G capabilities advance.
“Cyber criminals are switching gears from the traditional computer and smartphone ecosystems and now targeting the growing number of vulnerable IoT devices that are being deployed,” said Kevin McNamee, director of Nokia’s Threat Intelligence Lab and lead author of the report. “You have thousands of IoT device manufacturers wanting to move product fast to market and, unfortunately, security is often an afterthought.”
Industry analysts widely expect IoT device adoption to accelerate with 5G. The high bandwidth, large-scale and ultra-low latency capabilities of 5G greatly facilitate connecting billions of things to the internet, including smart home security monitoring systems, vehicles, drones and medical devices.
Nokia said its NetGuard security suite provides protection against a wide variety of bots and malware. The suite aggregates, analyses and correlates security data from a variety of sources, including endpoint detection software, to help security teams control risks and costs and to improve decision making.

by Guy Matthews